The Buffalo Sabres have had some major successes in the NHL Draft, starting with their first franchise selection of Gilbert Perreault, to Hall-of-Famers Tom Barrasso and Pierre Turgeon, to their most recent top overall picks of Rasmus Dahlin and Owen Power, but where there is success, there is inevitably failure. For the next entry on the list of Sabres first-round failures, we look at a winger that never played a game in the Buffalo organization.
#8 David Cooper
In a draft where future Sabres captain Mike Peca was drafted by Vancouver in the second round, Buffalo selected defenseman David Cooper 11th overall from the Medicine Hat Tigers of the WHL. The 6’2″, 205 lb. Cooper was billed as a tough blueliner who had 176 penalty minutes in his draft year. After another year with the Tigers, he graduated to the AHL but struggled defensively (-22) in his rookie pro season, to the point that he split time between Rochester and the ECHL affiliate in his second year.
After another disappointing season, the Sabres chose not to re-sign Cooper and he signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs, with whom he played 30 games spread over three seasons (1996 – 2001) before spending the last six seasons of his career playing in Europe (Germany, Denmark, Russia, Italy).
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Erik Karlsson told Swedish outlet Expressen that he has spoken with a number of clubs about a potential trade, including the Toronto Maple Leafs, Carolina Hurricanes, Pittsburgh Penguins, Seattle Kraken and others. Karlsson indicated that he is looking to be traded to a contender since the Sharks are in the midst of a rebuild, and any deal would require San Jose to retain a sizable chunk of his salary.
VINTAGE EK65 🥵
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) October 28, 2022
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